My first journey on a fast train from Paris to Montpellier, these trains travel up to 300 km a hour, quite something. I am meet at the station in Montpellier by a very special lady who I connected with in Nz and her wonderful husband Fred.
They live in a town called Lodeve, about hour drive from Montpellier. South France. A quaint place , with a lot history and beautiful scenery. 5 days went quick, we walked and talked, entertain friends, friends entertained us. Visited historical places , ate and drunk red wine. For those that know me I am not really a foodie but boy I am enjoying food now.There are lovely little villages dotted around the hills of France and they all have their unique style. Lakes, trees, flowers and lots space uninhabited.
Having familiarity, fun and laughter was awesome as I connect with my soul sister. To top it off I got to paddle in the sea for first time since leaving Nz. Miss the ocean…then it’s on a fast train to my next destination…st jean pied de port to start the Camino de Santiago for next 6 weeks or so…the train ride is through lots different country and involves changing train 3 times. Getting to the start of Camino isn’t straight forward, it’s actually in middle no where. Feeling excited but abit nervous as well. Taking a big step to walk this far. How will my knees , hips, shoulders, ankles survive the day after day walking? The physical part of the journey is challenge as much as it will be a spiritual pilgrimage. My pack with my boots in weighted about 12.9 kg….that’s with food too. I packed and repacked, trying to make it lighter.Not too much in my pack really. I have left the rest of my life in a suitcase at Annie and Fred is going to take it to UK for me when he goes. I think it will be easier to fly there from Spain. First day is meant to be 24 km and up a hill , over a pass. I decided to take it easy the first day and spilt the trip.
The train trip from Beziers to Toulouse was still pretty dry flat land with a few towns, here and there. Then I got on another train to Bayonne which is heading west I guess. A lot more green and villages along the way. Then we are going through the hills more, Pyrenees mountains I guess. Even a diary farm or two along the way. In middle of no where an International airport called “Tarbes Lourdes Pyrenees”. Near the town of Tarbes. It’s not too bad traveling in a foreign land and not knowing the language, I got on a carriage of second train and didn’t realize I was in 1st class until the guard came along and explained it to me, then I had to shift.
Curious about others, can they speak English, where are they going ,for what reason? Man next to be with a big folder of paper files, young lady sleeping with lots makeup on, another guy reading his kindle. They probably wondering who I am too. Backpack with walking poles on the outside…writing on my kindle.
The train trip from Bayonne to St Jean Pied de Port was just stunning, you followed a river up a valley with Bush and mountains around. Could been Nz. The destination is just beautiful like coming home. Came to my B & B and then walked with Caroline the host to town, where I got some dinner, a good hearty meal to set me up for tomorrow walk.She walked home. I went and explored the town, took some night shots. I my intuition lead me to the pilgrimage office where I got my passport for the trail. What an intriguing town…set to go now.
Follow me along the way.